On a mission

Group prepares to embark on life changing experience


by Marianne Morf
    They are going to Haiti to help, but members of a Clear Lake group embarking on a mission trip are certain they will be the ones whose lives are impacted the most.
    A team of 23 will leave Thursday, Nov. 3, on a mission sponsored by Zion Lutheran Church, Clear Lake. Church members and others will spend the week in Carrefour, Haiti helping to rebuild a sister church,

administer health care and conduct children’s programming, along with praise and worship activities.

    “It does no good to go to a country like Haiti and pass out money,” explained Tom Thul, who is making his second trip to the country since it was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010.  His first trip, made nine months after the disaster, was made alone.  This time he says he is excited to be a member of a team which will work to help Haitians in a variety of ways.  “We will be involved in legitimate projects, working beside them to genuinely help.”
    The Clear Lake group has enlisted the help of AIM (Adventures in Missions) to provide ground support during their week-long stay.  AIM has rented the house where they will stay, located just a few hundred yards from the sister church they will help to rebuild.  AIM has also hired cooks to cook for the group and transport them.  Despite the assistance, conditions will be primitive for the group.  Most will likely sleep on the second floor of the home, outdoors in the 90-plus degree heat on the hard surface, covered with mosquito netting.
    “It’s a huge commitment to go,” said Thul.  “I have been very impressed that since we announced the trip, not a single person who signed up has changed their mind.”
    Nicolle Amos, a nurse practitioner, says she was “gung-ho” early, but eventually struggled with her decision to go. 
    “In the last month I began to think ‘Is it safe?’ ‘Am I right to leave my kids and practice?’ But I really believe this is something God has led me to do and you can’t let fear overwhelm you.”
    Each member of the team was allowed to pack 50 pounds of supplies in a bag.  Team members focused their packs in the areas of medical needs, dental, children’s programming, construction and worship-- supplying 1,150 pounds of supplies in all.  In addition to distributing the goods, mission members will leave most of the personal possessions they travel with in the country -- their clothing, mosquito nets, personal hygiene items-- for the people.
    Judy Neuberger, a nurse for 32 years, said it has always been her dream to participate in a mission trip and the fact that this trip would involve medical help especially appealed to her.  She intends to spend time in a clinic setting, but also looks forward to meeting the children of Haiti outside of the clinic “and just giving them some loving attention.”  Neuberger was working to pack the large number of eye glasses donated to the group for delivery in Haiti. 
    Clear Lake dentist Tom Bieber said he also has always wanted to make a mission trip and he, along with dental hygienist Rachel Byrne, worked diligently packing supplies needed for not only basic dental health, but for tooth extractions. 
    “I don’t know what the conditions will be, or how many we will see, but we will spend two days helping as many as we can,” said Bieber.  “I’ve been told there is one doctor for very 10,000 people needing assistance, and probably fewer dentists.”
    Bieber said he also plans to help in construction of the church. 
    Megan Watson and Julie Stauffacher are among the eight team members who have - Read More Via e-Edition

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